Philip W. Schmidt

President/Dealer Principal

Central Ford

Little Rock

Philip W. Schmidt

In a description of Phil Schmidt's basic business philosophy, you would probably see the phrase "hands-on" quite a bit.

Schmidt, 39, says he admires a business person who minds the store, who handles the basics without being overly concerned about who takes the bows."

"All of our managers," Schmidt says, "work on the firing line-myself included."

At Walt Bennett Ford, where he began working in 1982, Schmidt gained experience in almost every department: leasing, sales, finance and insurance and service. In 19S6 he coordinated the new customer satisfaction program at the dealership. By 19S9 Schmidt was general manager and by 1991 president.

Schmidt says the biggest satisfaction he gets at his job is seeing the various elements come together the way they're supposed to, from purchase to delivery to ownership.

Of his success running Central Ford, Schmidt says, "The best advice I ever received was from Walt Bennett. He told me that good management is 10 percent delegation and 90 percent following up.